Future Marriage

February 14, 2000

Happy Valentine's Day! This is a day when most of us think about that special person in our lives and try to do something sweet and romantic. But futurists believe that this tradition will change in the next century, because our notion of marriage will change.

Sandy Burchsted, a futurist from Houston, estimates that the average American will marry at least four times and routinely engage in extramarital affairs with no fear of public humiliation. Speaking at a World Future Society conference, she identified the four different types of marriage.

The first is called the "icebreaker marriage" and would last about five years. This would be a time for couples to learn to live together and gain sexual experience. Once disillusionment sets in, it would be perfectly normal for couples to divorce.

The second marriage would be a "parenting marriage" which would last 15 to 20 years. The focus in this marriage would be raising children, although this would be done in a more communal setting (after all, "it takes a village to raise a child").

The third marriage would be the "self-marriage." This relationship would be focused on self-discovery and personal awareness. Burchsted believes that marriage is "a conscious, evolutionary process" and so this marriage would "be about consciously evolving yourself."

The fourth marriage would be late-in-life. She calls this the "soul mate connection" characterized by "marital bliss, shared spirituality, physical monogamy and equal partnership."

So this Valentine's day when you think of that special someone, just know that futurists believe that a century from now people will actually be thinking of those special someones in their life: past marriage partners, current marriage partners, and future marriage partners. Let's just pray that these predictions don't turn out to be accurate!

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.